Senior School Science

About Us

Thornton College is a leading independent day and boarding school for girls aged 3 – 18 years. It is one of the most successful non-selective schools in the UK and offers a warm and nurturing educational environment alongside a rigorous and exciting curriculum.  

Students receive an outstanding education and make excellent progress at Thornton College. Your daughter would be encouraged and expected to achieve her personal best in all she does.

We believe that teaching and learning should be both challenging and enjoyable for students of all abilities and we aim for the highest possible standards. Whether she is the most gifted academically, a good all-rounder or needs additional help in some areas, your daughter will receive a stimulating and rewarding educational experience suited to her needs.

Our academic results are testament to the way the girls are challenged and motivated to give their best in all they do. 

In 2020 Thornton College won the prestigious Independent School of the Year Award for its outstanding Student Careers Programme and Thornton was one of three Finalist schools for the ISA Outstanding STEAM provision Award, from over 550 independent school members across the UK.  

Pre-Prep – Sixth Form (3 – 18 years)

Each year at Thornton we educate and care for 400 students in our Pre-Prep, Prep, Senior and Sixth Form departments including around 60 boarders. The school is on one site offering seamless transition between the key stages and lots of opportunities for student role modelling, pastoral care and leadership.  Class sizes are small averaging 11 – 14 students across the school per form group.  This ensures individual attention and excellence in teaching.

Our Pre-Reception Class is for girls aged 3 years old and offers the very best start to your daughter’s education. We are a Forest School and girls in our Pre-Prep and Prep enjoy timetabled Forest School sessions throughout the year.

Each year Thornton has between 40 and 50 students in our Sixth Form taking A Level / Vocational Qualifications.  In 2020 100% of our Sixth Formers achieved a place at their first choice University.  We run the Oxbridge programme and do have students that go on to both Cambridge and Oxford Universities.  We also have students that go on to Russell Group Universities, Specialist course Universities and Arts and Music Schools and we have students that achieve corporate apprenticeships with Unilever, KPMG and others.  We also have good contacts with HM Forces and students in the past have joined the RAF.  Whatever your daughters’ interests and talents she will be individually supported and encouraged to follow her own pathway.


Thornton College has always been a boarding school – we have over 100 years of experience in caring for and providing a home for students.  Over 60 girls board on a weekly or termly basis and many take advantage of our occasional flexi boarding option.  Each year around 25 girls in years 7 – 13 join us from all around the world as termly boarders alongside our UK boarders. Most international boarders are from Spain, Mexico, Hong Kong, China, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Russia, Germany and Italy.  Our school community is diverse and inclusive and we welcome students from across the globe.


The School is set in a secure site within 25 acres of beautiful parkland just outside Buckingham on the Buckinghamshire/Northamptonshire border.  It is within easy reach of Milton Keynes, Bicester and Northampton. We are 10 minutes by taxi from Milton Keynes Central Train Station which offers 35 minute train journeys into Euston, Central London.  We are an hour south of Birmingham and located between Oxford and Cambridge centrally placed for the planned knowledge development Arc.  Although we are in the middle of beautiful countryside surrounded by fields, we do have easy and quick access to airports and cultural locations to ensure boarders do not have long journeys travelling to school and that we can offer a densely packed term of weekend cultural and social activities.

Extra-Curricular Programme

Thornton runs an extra-curricular programme of over 80 clubs each week across the school.  The vast majority of these are included in school fees and offer students a wide variety of activities to ‘have a go’ at and see what they enjoy.  In addition, Thornton runs a Co-Curricular Programme which provides paid for lessons in ballet, musical instruments, singing and speech and drama.  We run Duke of Edinburgh and students have achieved their Gold Award in Sixth Form and attended Buckingham Palace to receive their awards personally. 

Wrap Around Care and Transport

Wrap around care options are flexible and are a working parents’ dream.  Students can arrive as early as 7.45 a.m. for breakfast and stay until 6 p.m. in after school prep / club.  If parents occasionally are unable to pick up at 6 p.m. because we are a boarding school, we are always open, and girls can join the boarders. We also offer Flexi Boarding which is extremely popular for families when parents need to travel away for work or attend overnight conferences. We understand how tricky daily coordination can be for parents and we always try to be flexible and helpful. With school door to door transport available as an alternative / additional option we feel we can meet most families’ daily routine needs.

Catholic Foundation

Thornton College is a Catholic school with a strong Christian ethos. Children of all Christian denominations, of other faiths and of no faith are welcome in our school. All are equally valued and all are equally important.

If you are looking for a school that will give your daughter individual care and attention and provide her with the absolute best teaching and school life opportunities, where she will be happy and thrive then please do enquire and visit us – you will receive a warm welcome.

“The Thornton Way – it isn’t said, it’s a feeling.  The calm, the sense of learning with a purpose.  The care we show to one another.  It is the warmth that sets us apart.”

“Thornton is a magical recipe combining strong traditional values, a core ethos, excellent teaching, courage, talent, collaboration and facilities to be forward thinking and constantly leading the way.”